The old saying is that a picture is worth a thousand words; so many advertisers usually try to visually communicate messages, rather than bog down the receiver in heavy text.

Humans are visual creatures by nature. In fact, research shows that 90% of the information that comes to our brains is visual.

The role of advertising visuals includes obtaining attention, creating impact, and stimulating interest from an indifferent audience.

More companies who want to effectively reach their audiences will need to more strategic with visuals in all their marketing tactics—including online advertising. Simply paying to be at the top of search results or news feeds is no longer enough to get the results you’re looking for.

With that said, let’s dive into the visual strategies that we`ve found to be most effective in advertising:

  • Understand how and why symbolism works.

We are surrounded by symbols every single day of our lives. And we’re not just talking about brands either. Traffic lights, phone and computer icons, religious signs, and even the euphemisms we share with friends and family are all symbols — ‘things that stand in for other things’. Even written language is at its core a series of symbols. When creating visual motifs, we don’t necessarily have to explain everything. We can often just let our work speak for itself, or use symbols already understood by the audience. And these symbols can be something as basic as colors, or simple shapes. Even rhythms and patterns can be symbolic. 


  • Use consistent repetition.

Repeating patterns will help reinforce visual information by helping your brain realize that something is meant to be seen or noticed. Use calculated amounts of repetition depending on what you want your message to be. All motifs are repeated, though not always within a single work or design element. They may be repeated in different works over a period of time. When you build a brand or create a visual advertisement, you will have to repeat different motifs if you want to give them power.

  • The Direct Gaze Technique.

Eye contact, even in a picture, can be more powerful than you might think. The direct gaze technique is built around that concept. Create advertisements that encourage the consumer to look directly into the eyes of the person pictured. Facilitate a sense of responsiveness, trust and demand.

  • Using the right color.

Studies have found that colors can evoke certain feelings, thus influencing consumers to take a desired action. Particular colors have been shown to create feelings of excitement, energy, tranquility, etc. Consider how you want a customer to feel, and use a combination of colors in your marketing efforts to influence your target audience. For example, yellow promotes feelings of joy, happiness and energy, while green is the color of growth, tranquility and safety.

  • Video ads have higher engagement.

Video ads merge two things that catch user attention: movement and sound. Both of these play an important role in conveying an efficient message, hence leading to better engagement. Research suggests the average user remembers 95% of a message when it is watched, compared to 10% when it is read. This means prospects are more likely to remember your message via a video ad than an image or text ad. Moreover, a user’s positive experience with a video ad increases their purchase intent by 97% and brand association by 139%. Understanding importance of visuals for effective advertising can bring more attention to your brand.

We believe that the difference between an average marketer and a successful marketer lies in knowing how to use visual elements in marketing, especially those rooted in psychological concepts. Fear, love, pleasure and scarcity can be powerful drivers of consumer desires and actions.

Consider these strategies to build your brand and enhance consumer engagement in your visual marketing strategy.